Aphorisms on Art, Morality & Spirit. ~ Yahia Lababidi

Via Yahia Lababidion Nov 3, 2013

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Art alters the artist and, in time, recreates them in its own image.

Reality is a rose of a thousand petals.

Poor rational mind, it would sooner accept a believable lie than an incredible truth.

A poem arrives like a hand in the dark.

All languages are rough translations of our native tongue: the Spirit.

There are no shortcuts to Transcendence.

Spiritual fast food leads to spiritual indigestion.

Aphorisms respect the wisdom of silence by disturbing it, but briefly.

The air is dense with stray spirits, swarming for soul

Said a poem to a poet, “Can I trust you? Is your heart pure to carry me; are your hands clean to pass me on?”

For the sake of a good line, a poet, like a comedian, must be willing to risk everything.

From what you have, create what you have not; the poem teaches the poet.

If we care for ourselves, we may turn our pain into gifts for others.

If our hearts should harden and turn to ice, we must try, at least, not to blame it on the weather.

If you wish to be heard, speak gently. The same holds true in speaking to ourselves.

We steal from ourselves when we share an idea, or a feeling, before it has ripened.

The more closely we listen to ourselves, the more likely we are to overhear others.

To evolve means we’ve been listening.

Those whom life trusts, she tells a secret or two. If they betray, she is slow to trust again.

Unlike prose, poetry can keep its secrets.

Those who speak ill of life do not realize that they only smear their own names.

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Social Media: ballroom of dancing consciousnesses.

Every day we’re offered this world or the next; but one cannot be myopic and farsighted, at once.

The great whale hunt of the spirit life is also pursued in dreams.

We are the guardians of our dreams.

Everything beautiful is needful of our protection.

It’s easier to be fearless, when we remember we are deathless.

We suffer from mass logorrhea; memoirs and blogs are twin afflictions of our literary times.

To maintain immaculate speech, often times silence is required.

The heart is patient with the mind because it knows better.

Trust in longing to sing itself.

One definition of success might be refining our appetites, while deepening our hunger.

In life, as in relations, if we trust we are patient.

Hope is more patient than despair and so outlasts it.

To acquire a third eye, one cannot blink.

The guardian of the riddle must speak in riddles.

Mystic: a shepherd of secrets.

The mysticism of love unlocks secrets.

To receive what we need most, we must first give it away.

To become a mystic is not impossible; one must only endure being a beggar, mad and dead.

We must try not to take our fight with ourselves out into the world.

Where there are demons, there is something precious worth fighting for.

We can still become who we once were.

To write is to bow is to pray.

Bow so low and you kiss the sky.

Writing: talking to the page, like the last person on earth.

There are many ways to donate blood, writing is one.

The ideal reader is one who keeps pace with the author, who does the inner work necessary to appreciate the outer work.

To enter each day with empty hands, trusting you will receive what you need—such is the spirituality of poverty.

There is such a thing as spiritual deformity, a kink in the soul that keeps us from loving straight.

False divisions among mind/body/soul are the origins of perversions.

Since they make no allowances for happy surprises, cynics are forever being surprised.

The danger of cynicism is getting what you believe in: nothing.

If the idealizing tendency finds nothing to idealize, it will idealize Nothingness.

In the same way that people are sensitive to condescension, good fortune is repelled by cynicism.

Cynicism’s knowingness cheats itself out of true knowing.

Cynicism: a knowingness that does not know it lacks spiritual stamina—in other words, shortage of breath and vision.

Cynics are in need of constant reassurance; first, that their worst doubts about humanity are true and then, of course, that they are not.

In the spiritual dimension, one cannot produce a masterpiece until they become one.

Spiritual initiation: knowledge received intravenously.

As in the physical realm, so in the spiritual—it takes one moment of inattention to slip and fall.

How attentive the forces of darkness are, how they rush to answer our ill-conceived wishes.

The prayers most likely to be answered are selfless ones that we make for others.

Prayer is also anesthesia, so we can cut deeper, and clean out our wounds.

When in doubt, meditate upon your wound.

All true poets are Caedmon, all true poems hymns.

By remembering the light, we can smile in the dark.

The grades of love we are ashamed to confess: from the playground crush to Divine madness.

Wisdom is becoming innocent, again.

It’s not what you know, but what you are.

Desire never dies, which is why mystics shrewdly entrust it to the Eternal.

Strange, how our weaknesses can be strengths in disguise and vice versa.

Hell is being trapped in the vicious cycle of our vices.

At the heart of every vice sits selfishness, yawning.

To mate with the sublime, sublimate.

Each time we betray our conscience, we strangle an angel. And, yet, it’s not certain we are allotted an infinite supply of winged pardons.

Unheeded, pricks of conscience might return as harpoons of circumstance.

Inhibitions might be the handmaidens of conscience.

William_Blake-DevilAcross millennia, the devil’s siren song remains unaltered: “Let it all burn!”

Think of the devil as scared and all his counsel issuing from a place of desperation.

Doubts are shadows, grown bold in the absence of Light.

In serving words, faithfully, we also serve one another.

In the deep end, every stroke counts.

Treat life as seriously as you would a dress rehearsal. No more, no less.

Everything we do here matters, elsewhere.

Words, like us, must do their work here, first, on their way to somewhere else.

We do not choose our Work, we merely consent to it.

Heaven save us from tragic seriousness; teach us to play, divinely.

We’re here to pass around the ball of light, while keeping our fingerprints off it.

We are here to remind each other.

No matter how we dream or scheme, being born is always a surprise.

Signs of Mercy? How we continue to be rewarded, as we continue to transgress.

We are shamed into self-improvement when our transgressions are met with forgiveness and generosity. This is also the foundation of faith.

The problem with being full of yourself is that you cannot fill up with much else.

Love has a myriad of faces, impossible is one of them.

If Love were not always a step ahead, how would it ensure that we kept up the chase?

Contradiction: the cloak preferred by profound truths.

There are two ways through: one is fiendish complexity, the other is utter simplicity.

Rigidity is the need to conclude; let the last sentence of your soul stand open-ended . . .

 

 

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Assistant editor: Andrea Charpentier / Editor: Cat Beekmans

{Photo: Pixoto.}

About Yahia Lababidi

Yahia Lababidi, an Egyptian-American thinker and poet, is the author of five books in four genres. His latest is Barely There, a new collection of short poems that touch on the life of the spirit. Lababidi has been featured on NPR, Al Jazeera and in The Guardian. For more information, please visit him here.

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